Should kids tackle in Rugby?!?!Dom Taylor
There was recent debate, as far as the House of Lord’s, as to wether or not it is appropriate for children to tackle when playing rugby.
Rugby is a contact sport and tackling is an integral part of the sport. Some leading voices, particularly ex-players, have spoken out about the “preposterous” idea that tackling and contact should be outlawed from the game.
We believe that, if coached correctly, then it is an important learning curve for both the tackler and the ball carrier. Contact in rugby is part of the game and if removed would have severe impacts on our national team in future years. Not only would children grow up with less experience of the full game than their overseas counterparts, but they would not be used to the physicality of rugby which is so important.
There seemed to be some confusion, with those against tackling, as to when tackling and contact should be allowed. “When players are developed physically and are ready” might be for some at 14 and others at 18 so could this be structured for school and recreational sport?
There have been instances of injury caused by young players playing rugby form tackling. There is no doubting that fact. However, it is part of the game and should not be seen as dangerous. If children grew up thinking that tackling was dangerous then they would be psychologically scarred and it could stop them form playing for fear of serious injury.
Surely the best remedy to satisfy both points of view would be to ensure safe and correct techniques to tackle being coached. The RFU have several videos on how to tackle and tackling safety is covered on RFU training courses.
On our Everything 4 Rugby Academies, we know that the children crave the contact and tackling is a key aspect of that. Getting physical with the opposition is part of the game and we believe it should remain so.
What do you think?